Iona vs. Oregon Pick
Will a key injury keep No. 3 Oregon from steam rolling past No. 14 Iona in today’s NCAA Tournament game at 2PM ET?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Oregon is the clear favorite in this game, as the Ducks are getting odds of -15 points against Iona. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 152 points. This game will take part in the Midwest Region and air on TBS from Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
Oregon was rolling along, winners of eight straight, but the Ducks lost in the Pac-12 Championship to Arizona and also lost Chris Boucher for the season to a knee injury. He was averaging 11.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Still, the Ducks come into the game 29-5 on the season and winners of the Pac-12 regular season. Oregon was 19-14 against the spread on the season as well despite failing to cover in four of its last six games. Oregon is averaging 78.7 points per game on offense while allowing 65.4 on defense. The team is led by Dillon Brooks, who is averaging 16.3 points per game while Tyler Dorsey adds 13.3 points per game.
Iona got into this tournament thanks to winning the MAAC Tournament title. The Gaels are 22-12 on the season and 14-16-2 against the spread. They have a decent offense that put up 80.5 points per game, but the defense allowed 76.4 points per game. Away from home, the Gaels allowed 81.1 points per contest. Jordan Washington has been the team leader with 17.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while three others average double figures in scoring.
Oregon certainly will be hampered by the loss of Boucher, but I don’t think it will impact the Ducks a great deal in this particular contest. Iona is a team that relies a lot on Washington, and this should be a bad matchup for him against a long Oregon team. The Ducks are a little thinner in the paint without Boucher, but still have a lot of size to work with. Oregon’s offense should still be able to score against this poor Iona defense. Fifteen points is a lot, but I feel like Oregon wants to prove it can still be a contender without Boucher.
MARCH MADNESS PREDICTION: OREGON -15